Reid-Forde Shooting duel to be key in final
TJ Reid missed the first 43 minutes of Kilkenny's opening Allianz League clash with Cork in January and all of the next game against Clare. They lost both by three points.
Kilkenny went on to win their next five games, with Reid accumulating most of their scoring wealth.
Jason Forde missed Tipperary's clash with Kilkenny, which they lost by a point.
Other than a first-round defeat by Clare, it was Tipperary's only other setback in their advance to a fourth league final in six seasons.
The moral of the stories? Reid and Forde have been central figures in setting up Sunday's final pairing and will, no doubt, be hugely influential in deciding where the title goes.
Despite missing the game with Clare, Reid has scored 1-66, which is 40pc of Kilkenny's total. Forde has hit 5-60, which is 39pc of Tipperary's total.
Alan Murphy, who took over as Kilkenny's free-taker for the Clare game, pointed 10 placed balls, while Michael Breen scored seven frees when Tipperary lost to Kilkenny.
Reid's accuracy from frees has been a real bonus for Kilkenny over many years, but Forde's emergence as a dead-ball specialist is relatively new to the county scene.
The opportunity arose because of injury to Séamus Callanan and has been gratefully accepted.
In addition to scoring 1-47 from placed balls, he has also hit 4-13 from open play.
Reid has scored 1-13 from open play, as well as 0-53 from frees and '65s'.
Walter Walsh edges out Reid as Kilkenny's highest scorer from open play, contributing 2-11, while Richie Leahy and Martin Keoghan have each scored 0-9.
Michael Breen has scored 3-9 from open play for Tipperary while John McGrath has posted 1-12, 1-9 of which came in the last two games against Dublin and Limerick.